Apple Inc. has stated that the next version of the Mac operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 - or Leopard - will ship this spring, and some analysts are expecting that to be as early as April. But a new report coming out of Taipei suggests that Apple may postpone Leopardis release until October to enhance Windows Vista support, according to DigiTimes.
The supposed delay will give Apple time to rework Boot Camp to support Windows Vista, unlike the current version which is designed to be compatible with Windows XP. Boot Camp is Appleis software that allows you to install Microsoftis Windows XP operating system along with Mac OS X on Intel-based Macs, and then choose which OS to boot at startup.
Delaying the release of Leopard to add Vista support could potentially make Appleis new operating system more attractive to Windows switchers since it would ease the pain of moving from one OS to another. It would also, however, push the release out several months past the promised ship time - and after the back to school sales window.
Regardless of whether or not Apple hits its promised spring ship window, an April release seems more and more unlikely. An Ars Technica report indicates that developers working with current builds of Mac OS X 10.5 feel the operating system is still at a beta stage and is not ready to ship.
One developer with the current seed version of Leopard commented "We still have the same seed we got 2 weeks ago. Iid say itis barely beta, not Final or Gold Master."
If these reports from developers are accurate, then the next likely release window will be during Appleis World Wide Developer Conference which runs from June 11 through June 15.
Unfortunately, Apple isnit offering any additional information about its time frame for shipping Leopard, so for now, users and developers will have to wait and see.